SALEM — When West Limestone is on, it believes it can’t be held back.
It’s not who, but what. When momentum swings their way, the Wildcats bring it. But in today’s Northwest Regional Class 4A girls final against No. 1 Oneonta, West Limestone girls could take home the first regional title in school history. After taking the area title for the past three years, they hope their time is finally here.
On Thursday, with the 53-44 win over J.O. Johnson of Huntsville, the ’Cats were rolling. When the Jaguars called a timeout near the end of the game, West Limestone coach Ben Campbell tried not to break the team’s stride.
“Coach wouldn’t let us sit down,” said Bugg Grizzard, explaining how Campbell used the break to keep the team racing instead of sitting back.
“Once we’re going, we don’t stop,” she said.
At practice Friday afternoon, 12 sets of eyes watched Campbell, who sat cross-legged on the floor in front of the team, running down the scouting report for the Redskins (29-4). When he finished, the team shifted to practice mode, and started shooting around to begin practice.
But even in the quiet gymnasium, the players were focused and determined going into drills.
“We’re not going to play their game. They’re going to play our game,” said senior guard Laura Easter.
While West Limestone (24-9) had a rough start to the season, Campbell said he is not surprised to see the team make it this far.
“From the beginning, coach Campbell was saying, ‘This is the group,’ ” Autumn Bates said.
Without a standout player, West Limestone works as a unit to find success. On Thursday, Bates led the Wildcats with 11 points, while Grizzard scored 10 with four assists. Easter scored with 10 points, while Kayla Carter and Shelby Clay each had nine points.
“I thought we had the team that could do this,” Campbell said, describing the mix of seniors and role players.
Looking ahead against the Oneonta, West Limestone will look to stop forward Destiney Elliott, the 5-foot-11 junior.
As they watched the Redskins eliminate Brooks on Thursday, the team’s four seniors said it only made them more excited to play.
“We want to prove to everyone that we can do it,” Easter said.
Contact Meredith Qualls at 256-340-2395 or by email at email@example.com.
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